This Week’s Beer News (January 6–11, 2014)


St. Joseph’s Abbey, Spencer, Massachusetts. Home of the Spencer brewery, the first Trappist brewery in the US. (Photo by John Phelan, via Wikipedia, under Creation Commons license.)

The United States is poised to get its first Trappist brewery. The brothers at St. Joseph’s abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts are brewing and Spencer Trappist Ale and is due out this week. Meanwhile, in Iceland, a brewery is coming under fire for releasing a beer brewed with whale meat.


If you’re travelling soon, check out Draft Magazine’s list of the 2014’s 100 best beer bars. If a new beer you liked debuted in 2013, vote for it in the online poll at The Full Pint website. If you know someone with celiacs disease, Thrillist claims to have found some gluten-free beers “that don’t suck.”



Is the craft beer industry becoming more competitive,? An article in Time argues that it is. Are the big guys losing their loyal customers? The Globe and Mail, in an article posted this week, thinks so.


Free Stuff

The Journal of Brewing History posted an archive of Michael Jackson articles, free for anyone to download.


Homebrew Competition News

The AHA released the following news about registering for this year’s National Homebrew Competition. There will be an open registration in which brewers can submit up to 6 beers and designate a site they’d like to ship them to. Then the AHA will decide who’s beers go where (and how many — you aren’t guaranteed that all the beers you want to submit will be accepted). The move is designed to avoid the problems with last year’s contest. If you’re thinking about entering other local or regional competition, other BJCP-recognized contests can be found on the AHA’s website, as always.

Finally, hopefully this contest, the Upper Mississippi Mashout — which this year is raising money for a homebrewer with brain cancer — will receive a lot of entries. Entries are due this week. 





  1. Apparently the health people shut the whale beer down (before I got a chance to taste it!). Also, I don’t think it was whale meat, but rather collagen or something. Also, how cool is brewing a beer made of whale?

    • Chris Colby says

      If it tasted good (and the whale species wasn’t endangered or threatened), I’d try it. (Come to think of it, I’m of Scandinavian descent. I’d try it even it didn’t taste good.)

  2. The whales that are hunted are plentiful and threaten Iceland’s fish stocks.

    I’m pretty sure the beer wasn’t that great, though. Marketing ploy, not great beer.

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